NAHA — A 23-year-old Marine received a 2½-year suspended prison sentence in the Naha District Court Wednesday for smuggling marijuana into Japan — but now he faces military charges.

Sgt. Joseph Reynoso, assigned to Headquarters Service Battalion on Camp Foster, has been in custody of Japanese authorities since Feb. 21, when he was charged with violating Japan’s Cannabis Control Law.

Nobuyuki Yokota, chief judge, said Reynoso and a U.S. civilian employee at Futenma Marine Corps Air Station tried to mail about 480 grams — almost 17 ounces — of marijuana, hiding it in a candy package, from the United States to an apartment in Urasoe, Okinawa, in January.

Reynoso pled guilty.

The Okinawa Customs Office estimated the 960 units of marijuana was valued at $16,600.

The civilian employee, Grant Jones, 27, received a two-year suspended prison term in April.

The judge pointed out Wednesday that Reynoso played an active role in the crime by contacting his friends when he received the mail containing the marijuana.

The judge called the act malicious and noted that Reynoso attempted to smuggle a large amount.

He said, however, that the court decided to suspend the sentence because Reynoso had no previous criminal record and had shown genuine remorse.

However, a Marine Corps spokesman at Camp Foster said Reynoso now will face an Article 32 hearing, similar to a grand jury proceedings, to determine what charges he will face.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now